GRUNDY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Friday night’s Grundy County High School football game against Upperman High has been canceled.
The last minute decision comes after charges of attempted aggravated rape were leveled Thursday against 5 football players. The boys are accused of attacking a freshman on the team.
The Grundy County School Board called an emergency meeting for Monday, October 16 after the news rocked the community.
According to Sheriff Clint Shrum, early Wednesday morning eight football players, including the alleged victim, met to work out.
They were able to enter through an open door to the school’s field house. Once inside, Sheriff Shrum says five players began to wrestle with a 15-year-old freshman.
The sheriff said the victim was placed on the floor with his arms behind his back, and one participant put his knee on his neck while others held down his legs. One of the five recorded the assault on a cell phone.
The video has since been recovered by authorities.
Sheriff Shrum said all of the students were interviewed with their parents and principal present. Five of them are charged with attempted aggravated rape. Additional charges are possible.
“This investigation is disturbing but we want to be as transparent as we can be about it,” the sheriff said.
Authorities said the students did not have permission to be at the field house at the time and they are still investigating how they got access.
“This is Grundy County and this is home and you think things like this aren’t supposed to happen at the house, but we are dealing with this,” Sherriff Shrum said.
Sheriff Shrum said the other two football players were not in the room at the time. They do not face any charges.
The five accused in the case are all due in court on Monday morning. None of their identities have been released.
The team’s head football coach has also been suspended, but the school investigation is separate from the criminal one.
The Department of Children’s Services is also investigating.
Late Thursday, the School Board released a statement that said,
Due to these ongoing investigations, upon the advice of counsel, the board cannot have any comment on the matter. It should be understood that no member of the board has been authorized to speak for the board and any statement by an individual board member should be considered as private comment for which the member will be personally liable.
However, after their regularly scheduled meeting, School Board Member Kasey Anderson spoke with News 2.
“The board is doing everything they can to prevent things like this from happening in the future,” she said. “We want every parent, every child to feel safe at school.”
The emergency meeting will be at Grundy County High School on Monday, October 16 at 6:00 p.m.